The Gambling Commission has announced a partnership with an interim Experts by Experience Group that will provide it with advice, evidence and recommendations with the aim of raising standards and helping inform decision making.
In addition to this, the partnership will also see the co-creation of a permanent Experts by Experience Advisory Group that is set to advise the regulator on a more established basis.
Gambling Commission Chief Executive, Neil McArthur, stated: “Our goal is to make gambling safer for consumers and the creation of the interim group is another important step in helping us bring a wider range of perspectives into our work.
“We will work with the interim group to co-create a formal Advisory Board, which will allow us to involve Experts by Experience more closely in the development of our regulatory framework.
“I am really grateful for the open and constructive way in which members of the interim group have shared their personal experiences of gambling related harm and for everyone’s commitment to work together to tackle these important issues.
“It is early days and we are learning along the way to ensure that feedback and advice is utilised in the most effective way. This week we looked at the subject of affordability and we’ll be focused on other areas of player protection online in the weeks ahead.”
The creation of the interim experts group follows a workshop in March, in which experienced individuals offered their thoughts on key industry topics such as high value customers, advertising technology and safe game design – three areas in which the regulator has challenged the industry to make progress on.
Moreover, the group also looked into the need for more effective engagement and collaboration to benefit consumers as well as discussing how the Commission could better work with experienced individuals with the aim of preventing harm and improving gambling safety.
A spokesperson for the Interim Group added: “The Interim Group comprises a group of people who have suffered a wide range of gambling harms, including recovering gambling addicts, family and partners of addicts, and those who have lost children to gambling suicides.
“The role that is too often allocated to Experts by Experience (EbEs) of telling our stories and commenting on narrowly defined questions is ineffective, so the establishment of the group is long overdue.
“We are determined that EbEs should play a continuing and much more active role in the deliberations and decision making across the whole remit of the Commission as part of the National Strategy to reduce gambling harms. We bring a new and vital perspective on key issues of regulation and even how the Commission itself works.
“We and they are learning how we can best work together, but we feel that there is a genuine commitment all round to make it work. Some of our comments were incorporated into the progress update on the industry-led working groups, but in future we may issue our own comments on issues that we have consulted with the Commission. We appreciate that the Commission recognises the value of our input, but we differ on certain key issues. Notably on how far and how fast improvements can be made. We look forward to working with the Commission.”
The interim group will now be in place for at least the next six months, when the Commission plans to move to a permanent Advisory Group.